Post date: Mar 19, 2012 8:02:57 PM
In their attempts to introduce non-functional body-gripping trapping legislation, both of the Minnesota Legislature's Environment and Natural Resources Committees (House and Senate) seem to have begun with the same "greater than seven and one-half inches" error. With this error, the new Minnesota Game & Fish Bill would have completely deregulated the use of large to extra-large body-gripping traps. Because they're even more powerful and dangerous to dogs, other animals, even people, the extra-large traps (generally speaking, those larger than the #220 traps) are currently allowed only in the water, for trapping animals like beavers and otters.
At the 3/1/2012 House Committee meeting, Chairman Denny McNamara (R-Hastings) tried to fix the "greater than seven and one-half inches" error, but ended up making it even worse as the "greater than six and one-half inches" error. The non-functional body-gripping trapping legislation--including the error--was included in the House Game & Fish Bill HF 2171.
In this video excerpt from the 3/1/2012 House Committee meeting, Rep. McNamara makes "McNamara's Typo."
Early the next week, on 3/6/2012, Senator John Carlson (R-Bemidji) corrected the Senate version of the "greater than seven and one-half inches" error. With the correction, his bill SF 2265 read "...greater than six and one-half inches and less than seven and one-half inches..." It was soon included in the Senate Game & Fish Bill SF 1943 (Section 47 on 3/12/2012).
The "greater than seven and one-half inches" error wasn't corrected in the House Bill HF 2171 until the 3/22/2012 Committee meeting.
Apparently, neither of these legislators knew enough about the subject to detect the error, much less to author the legislation. Also, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources didn't seem to be the author, because their draft proposal was quite different. Who, then, wrote this legislation; and in whom are we putting our trust to run our State government?
But let's not get stuck on this nonsense about the typo in the non-functional legislation. The real problem is that the politicians in these Minnesota House and Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committees refused to hear the popular, dog-safe trapping legislation (SF 1736 and HF 2243) requested by thousands of signers on the Safe Public Lands and Unnecessary and Unsafe Trapping petitions.
The popular, dog-safe legislation was carefully written to protect dogs from the most dangerous uses of body-gripping traps on land without prohibiting other, effective methods of trapping.
Unfortunately, the same could not be said of the non-functional legislation in the Game & Fish Bill (SF 1943, HF 2171) that was only meant to look like it was doing something significant to protect dogs I didn't do anything significant to protect dogs, and it prevented the MN DNR from doing so through rulemaking.
Update, 3/27/2012: 2012 MN trapping legislation: fake.